An Icelandic couple who had a baby in India with the aid of a surrogate mother a few weeks ago have now been allowed to return to Iceland. At first they had trouble with having the boy recognized as an Icelandic citizen, as surrogate parenting is illegal in Iceland.
An unspecified baby. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
“It is a wonderful feeling after all we have been through. It has been so difficult that we’re absolutely ecstatic right now,” the surrogate baby’s mother, Helga Sveinsdóttir, told Fréttabladid.
She is now planning her return to Iceland from Mumbai with her husband Einar Thór Faerseth and their five-week-old son Jóel, who was granted the Icelandic citizenship on Saturday. “He is developing well and is healthy and happy,” Sveinsdóttir said in description of her son.
“We haven’t received the passport yet but are confident that the matter has finally been resolved and are excitedly awaiting our homecoming,” Sveinsdóttir said, adding that they don’t know when they can leave India but are hoping it can happen before Christmas.
The reason for the family’s troubles is that there is a legal vacuum in Iceland regarding surrogate parenting. It is illegal in Iceland but not in India.
However, according to Icelandic law, the surrogate mother is the baby’s legal mother and the baby had to be adopted to be recognized as an Icelandic citizen.
The Icelandic couple sought the assistance of parliamentarians who granted Jóel citizenship without the family having to go through the regular adoption process.
A parliamentary resolution from 16 MPs from the Independence Party, Social Democrats and the Progressive Party suggesting legalization of surrogate parenting in Iceland for non-profitable purposes has now been submitted to Althingi.